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State capture inquiry hears of R2m lab for SABC that's 'hardly being used'

13 September 2019 - 11:56 By AMIL UMRAW
A laboratory set up to test set-top boxes is hardly being used.
A laboratory set up to test set-top boxes is hardly being used.
Image: 123RF/luchschen

The SA Bureau of Standards (SABS) says it is incurring significant losses because a specialist laboratory built to test set-top boxes for the SABC is hardly being used.

Testifying at the state capture inquiry on Friday, the bureau's CEO Garth Strachan said it had lost about R2m since the digital migration strategy of the public broadcaster came to a halt.

"SABS was mandated to undertake conformity assessments of set-top boxes and it established a laboratory and the capabilities to do that," he said.

"There has been a very low volume of testing in the laboratory specifically set up for set-top boxes.

"We have incurred significant losses which we estimate to be R1.8m and the viability of the laboratory is in serious question. The administrators are contemplating closing the laboratory."  

The SABS was allocated about R30m to set up the lab but received only R26m.

"Nevertheless the requisite capacity was established in order to test set-top boxes," Strachan said.

The inquiry will continue on Monday.